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Butterflies of Mexico, USA & Canada
Dion Skipper
Euphyes dion  EDWARDS, 1879
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - HESPERIINAE
Euphyes dion  Frank Model
Introduction
In the Americas there are 2365 known species of Hesperiidae. These are split into 5 subfamilies i.e. Pyrrhopyginae, Heteropterinae, Megathyminae, Pyrginae and Hesperiinae. The Hesperiines of which there are about 1040 species, are known as Grass Skippers because their larvae feed on grasses, bamboos and other monocotyledons.
All members of the subfamily Hesperiinae are sexually dimorphic - males being distinguished by the presence of a dark streak of androconial scales on the upperside of the forewing.
The genus Euphyes comprises of 21 species, distributed variously from Canada to Paraguay. Most species have dark earthy brown uppersides with cream or yellowish spots and streaks, although a few species are unmarked. The undersides also vary quite a lot, some species being pale earthy brown and devoid of markings, while others have a series of pale post-median spots. Several have yellowish or fuscous undersides with the veins mapped in yellow. Three of these have long yellow streaks on the underside - dukesi, bayensis and dion.
Euphyes dion is confined to the eastern states of the USA.
Habitats
This species can be found in damp habitats where sedges grow, including meadows and fields, bogs, woodland glades, roadside ditches and streamsides.
Lifecycle
The egg is pale green, and laid singly on Carex blades ( Cyperaceae ). The larva is dull translucent green with a thin dark mid-dorsal line. Its head is white, with a black spot on the crown, and orange vertical stripes. It feeds nocturnally and lives in a shelter constructed by folding and silking a leaf. The larva moves to a new shelter after each moult, and pupates in the final shelter.
Adult behaviour

Males perch on grasses and sedges which they use as lookout posts from which to survey passing females. Males imbibe at puddles and stream edges. Both sexes nectar at Lamiaceae, Asteraceae and other flowers.

 

 

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